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[mahr-muh-zet, -set]
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  1. any of several small, squirrellike, South and Central American monkeys of the genera Callithrix, Leontocebus, etc., having soft fur and a long, nonprehensile tail: some species are endangered.

Origin of marmoset

1350–1400; Middle English marmusette a kind of monkey, an idol < Old French marmouset, apparently equivalent to marmos(er) to murmur (marm- (see marmot) + -oser v. suffix) + -et -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for marmoset

Historical Examples

  • The Marmoset whom nature had given, only of all, to love the man!

    The Knickerbocker, Vol. 57, No. 1, January 1861


  • But her head moved, from the portrait to the Flicker, from the Flicker to the Marmoset.

  • The boy and the marmoset had a chance after all, if the heat didn't get them.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • Rick petted the marmoset, then put him back on his file-safe perch.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • The marmoset was to substitute, then, for human occupants of the big rocket.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for marmoset


  1. any small South American monkey of the genus Callithrix and related genera, having long hairy tails, clawed digits, and tufts of hair around the head and ears: family Callithricidae
  2. pygmy marmoset a related form, Cebuella pygmaea: the smallest monkey, inhabiting tropical forests of the Amazon

Word Origin

C14: from Old French marmouset grotesque figure, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for marmoset


"small monkey," late 14c., from Old French marmoset "grotesque figurine; fool, jester" (late 13c.), perhaps a variant of marmote "long-tailed monkey, ape," then, as a term of endearment, "little child;" said to be from marmonner, marmotter "to mutter, mumble," probably of imitative origin. Some French authorities suggest a derivation of marmoset from marmor "marble," as if "little marble figurine."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper